Zimbabwe seeks Rwanda’s support to rejoin Commonwealth

ZIMBABWE is seeking Rwanda’s help to rejoin the Commonwealth, which it had left in 2003, Foreign Minister Frederick Shava was quoted as saying by state broadcaster, the ZBC, on Tuesday.

The minister was speaking in an interview ahead of the inaugural Zimbabwe-Rwanda Trade and Investment Conference that began in Kigali on Tuesday.

“They (Rwanda) assured us that they are very keen to support us. The importance and relevance of this discussion lie in the fact that the next Commonwealth conference will be held in Kigali, and thereafter Kigali will be the chairman for the next year or so, so we are looking forward to that event.

“We have suggested that perhaps we could also attend the CHOGM as an observer and we hope that this would be possible,” Shava said.

However, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland have since announced the postponement for the second time, of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2021 in Kigali due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth, a grouping of mostly former British colonies in 2003 at the height of a diplomatic tiff between Harare and London.

The Zimbabwean government later applied to rejoin the club in 2018 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office.

The Commonwealth has said that Zimbabwe should demonstrate its compliance with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter before it can be readmitted. □

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